Choosing to walk in the Spirit
The moment we become saved, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us and helps us to grow in the loving nature of God, producing what’s known Biblically as the fruits of the Spirit. These nine fruits, each representing one of the attributes of God, are an outward display of the One living within us. Jesus said that His followers would be known by their fruits in the way that they speak, act and treat others. As Christians, these spiritual qualities should be evident to others and should dictate how we live our lives.
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Galatians 5 lists the fruit of the Spirit, the living product that His presence within us produces in order to accomplish good works for the furthering of the Kingdom and the glory of God. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is made up of nine Godly qualities: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, all of them being held together by love and self-control. When we develop the fruits of love and self-control, we actually cultivate all the other fruits, which are forms of love and are kept in balance by self-control. As believers, all these attributes of God have been deposited into our hearts like little seeds through the presence of the Holy Spirit. But just as physical fruit needs time to grow, the fruit of the Spirit is not produced overnight.
One of the greatest challenges of being a Christian is the daily tug-of-war between our old, sinful nature and the new spiritual life we have received in Christ Jesus. Even though we have been made new and the Spirit of God has come to live inside of us, this doesn’t mean we are instantly perfected in His fruit. In fact, we are still capable of falling back into our old, destructive habits but the difference is that the Holy Spirit gives us the power to control the works of the flesh and our sinful desires. But we must let Him do this work in us.
God has planted a garden within each of us and has assigned the Holy Spirit the job of the Gardener that helps to produce good fruit in us. Like a good gardener, the Holy Spirit prunes us and uproots the weeds of our sin nature so that we may produce sweet fruit that others will see and admire. The more that we let go of the sinful desires of the flesh and submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the more He can shape us and grow us into becoming more like Jesus. The fruit that is produced in us is evidence of new life in Christ and a heart truly transformed from the inside out.
What fruits do others know you by? Do they know you by the fruits of the Spirit or do they know you by the fruits of the flesh that are contrary to God’s good and perfect nature? If you’re struggling to produce some or even all of the fruits of the Spirit today, remember that you are not alone. The Holy Spirit living inside of us is our Helper, who seeks to rid us of our sin nature and purify us into becoming more and more like Christ. Invite Him into your daily decisions, listen to His still, small voice that peacefully leads and instructs us in God’s wisdom. If we let Him, He will cut off every branch that produces rotten fruit in our life and allow His sweet fruit to flourish so that He can be seen and made known through you.